Sunday, August 30, 2009

Hand Washing 101^

Well, this morning, while Snapdragon was lazing in that sweet just-woke-up-and-nursed way that he does, I sucked it up and dealt with the fluffy laundry.

Today's routine went like this. (Tomorrow's might get pictures if I think of it.)

*Change baby-butt. There's no sense in leaving a wet diaper on a baby when you're about to wash diapers.
*Rinse entire bucket of diapers with Diaper Sprayer. I really love this particular gadget.
*Lunk sopping wet bucket of diapers out to wash tub in garage.
*Discover there is no plug for washtub in garage.
*Frown.
*Dump diapers into right side of washtub, place bucket to the left of them. (Just so you aren't surprised, it's an old plastic Tidy Cat liter bucket. So now if there are pictures at some point, you know.)
*Squeeze the rinse water out of diapers while filling bucket half full of HOT water over 1TBSP of Rockin' Green clothdiapers detergent.
*Grab ten diapers or covers at a time and place in bucket.
*Swirl around a bunch, rub and scrub them against themselves and one another until they seem to be showing no signs of anything other than the discoloration left by EBF poo. Basically, as thoroughly agitated and scrubbed as I can do with my bare hands and the occasional use of a scrub brush.
*Pile "washed" diapers again in the right side of the wash tub.
*Dump dirty water outside. (I didn't want to risk pouring it down the drain next to the just washed diapers, as it was pretty dirty looking at this point.)
*Rinse bucket out.
*Wring diapers.
*Spray diapers, individually, with HOT water.
*Wring diapers.
*Spray diapers with HOT water. Individually, again.
*Wring diapers.
*Spray diapers with HOT water, in a group.
*Wring diapers.
*Lug diapers through Mongoosine's room, my room, the living room, the dining room, the kitchen, and out to where my laundry rack is.
*Hang to sun the discoloration out, and to kill any nasty bacteria.
*Wait some 10 hours, then toss them in the dryer on Low to finish drying.

Observations:
It is too cold to dry hand washed diapers outside effectively or efficiently, despite my best wringing attempts.
I got a LOT more dirt out of the diapers than I would have expected, judging by how dark and creeptastic the wash water got.
Handwashing leads to very dry hands. I need to investigate non-latex gloves of some sort. I might even have some in the box of kitchen stuff from when, well, from before.
It was less gross than one would think.
They seem to have, post sunning, come just about as clean as being machine washed. So long as they don't repel, I think we're in business.

Alterations I intend to make:
I think I technically used just under 1 TBSP of Rockin' Green, and I need to bump it up a little tomorrow.
I plan to steralize, as best I can, the plunger to agitate the water. I hear it works really well and will save some wear and tear on my back.
Spouse found me a plug for the drain. It's a little small, but with a diaper over it, I'm sure I can manage this without the bucket, or at least I intend to try.

^101 refers not only to the educational aspect of this post as it pertains to one's clothdiapers wash routine, but also to the fact that this is my 101st blog post!

11 reflections:

Candice said...

LOL sounds like you had a fun experiment :) You're lucky you have one of those sinks too because mine would have to be in my bathtub. Then of course I'd have to clean down the tub every other day!

~ April ~ EnchantedDandelions said...

Does it make me a total diaper dork if I want to try this, just for the hell of it, to see if I could get them clean? LOL

Seriously, that's awesome, and I bow down to you.

Ditto Candice re: the sink.

I once read on a blog (grr, can't remember which one) that gave some tips on handwashing (they did all their clothes). And they used a plunger with great results.

Good luck!

TopHat said...

I don't envy you at all.

I bet you could find a cheap plunger at the dollar store if you don't feel like disinfecting your current one.

Janet said...

Good to know about the plunger. I know several people who CD while camping (tent in the woods, not RV style) and they take flats, then handwash every night and line dry overnight while they sleep. In the summer, it'd probably be ok as long as it didn't rain.

But it does make me want to try flats just to see whether they work well enough...

I think if you're going to continue doing this, dishwashing gloves would be good. I know I've seen latex free ones.

Slee said...

@Candice and April-
I wouldn't mind using the bathtub to do this *if we had one.*
Sadly, no bathtub. Well, that's not true. There is a bathtub, but its in the somewhat molderific and overpiled basement and inaccessable, and unplumbed, lol. So no bathtub, which, for the record, is one of my HUGEST peeves about living here.

@Jess my mom has washed a LOT of laundry in the bathtub and washtub. We probably went nearly a year without a washer once as a child. She had a washboard and a plunger. The washboard began to rust and she says the plunger got clothes cleaner.
I am finding the prefolds to be very good at absorbing, surprisingly so, although I shouldn't be surprised since they were what I used with Mongoosine without ill effect.

Tiffany said...

Congrats on the 101st blog post!

Sorry you currently have to wash by hand :(

Calley said...

Wow...impressive! I guess I need to count my blessings and be thankful for my ancient washing machine. Not sure I have the patience for the handwashing routine. Thanks for sharing!

Denise said...

Congrats on your 101st post!!! Sorry to hear about your washer. Mine is still under warranty & I REALLY need to get Sears out to service it before the warranty expires.

Sounds like you did great with the handwashing!!! We have a little plunger that we only use for the kitchen sink...I got it at the Dollar store, it is very nice to have a CLEAN plunger hanging around the house & I'm sure it would make a great agitator in your big sink. I've never handwashed diapers, but when our washer died a few years ago I washed all our clothes in the bathtub for a couple months....stomping on the clothes in the bathtub works really well for getting big things like jeans clean.

Check thrift stores, sometimes you can pick up an older washer really cheap. Freecycle & Craigs list also might be good places to look. ((((Hugs))))

Slee said...

@Denise
i'd never considered stomping, though i did get some decent agitatioin with my arm and body weight today... lol.

Upstatemomof3 said...

Oh wow!! That is quite the routine - not unlike I would expect but still.... It kind of stinks that this happened going into the fall. If only it were warmer. My basement sink is like that but I am too short to wahs things in it. :)

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